Source Two

Another propaganda leaflet designed for distribution in West Africa. It was printed in the early 1940s, Catalogue ref: INF 2/1 pt. 4.

This leaflet is designed to persuade the reader and uses different ways to convince the reader to support its message. Its purpose is to sway opinion and push a particular idea. At the time it was produced, Britain was a colonial power which is also reflected in the tone and content of the leaflet.


Victory is vital

Germans would rob West Africans of their produce

Partners with Britain

You are paid a fair price in cash for your produce

You are honestly paid in money for the produce you well. If you like, you can save some of your money in the Post Office Savings Bank. The Post Office pays you to save, for your own future.

You buy where you like, and anything you need

With the money you receive, you can buy cloth for yourself and your children, kerosene to give you light at night, food, a bicycle or a sewing machine, or anything else you like from the store.

Big ships carry your produce to Britain and bring back goods for you

When Britain has defeated Germany, more ships will be set free to carry your produce to many countries, and your trade will improve. In spite of the war, the British Government is paying you a fair price for your produce.

Slaves under Hitler

You would not receive cash payment for your produce

The Germans rob people whenever they can and they never pay cash for what they take. So you would have no money to buy food or anything else that you wanted, for yourself or your children.

You would have no money for goods and could not buy where you wished

You would be allowed only enough food to keep you working for Germany. You could not build your own house and you could not even have a small business. You could not have bicycles or sewing machines.

Germans would take your produce and give you no goods in return

You would be a slave, working always for the Germans, from childhood to old age. The produce you bring to market would not be your property at all. You would receive no money and there would be no profit from your work.

Britain is your friend and believes in progress for all.

Germany is your enemy and believes in slavery for all non-Germans

« Return to Wartime Propaganda

Read the leaflet and look at the pictures to work out how it tries to persuade West Africans to support Britain and her allies during the Second World War.

  1. How does the leaflet use language in different ways to persuade/influence the reader? Comment on the following:
    • Alliteration (a phrase in which the words start with the same letter)
    • Use of personal pronouns e.g., ‘you’ or ‘your’. How often are these used?
    • Why does the text often refer to the readers’ children?
    • What is the significance of using ‘loaded language’ like words ‘partner’ or ‘slave’? When are these used?
    • Why are similar ideas repeated in the leaflet?
  2. Why is the leaflet illustrated and printed in colour?
  3. What do the pictures suggest about possible life under German occupation?
  4. How are (a) Germans (b) West Africans portrayed in this leaflet?
  5. What is the key message of the leaflet?
  6. What aspect of British history does the leaflet ignore when showing life under German occupation?
  7. What does the leaflet suggest by its tone/attitude about the relationship between Britain as a colonial power and West Africa?
  8. What does this leaflet reveal about the nature of propaganda?
  9. Compare both sources. Which one reveals more about how propaganda works? Give your reasons.